Thursday, July 22, 2010

Estate Sale Adventures

This past weekend my garage sale buddy and I headed out to what had been advertised as an "estate" sale. In actuality it was a home that had been abandoned for the past ten years. When they moved grandma to a nursing home, they shut the door and didn't look back. Not on the house, the 2 trailer houses or the shed that was on the property. Now they have a short time to sell everything before the state takes the property to pay for grandma's care.
The entire visit was a bit comical. Suzanna and I in shorts and flip flops going through knee high grass, climbing in trailers with rotted out floors and encountering live objects. We found some SCARY stuff in that house! In one bedroom something living skittered across the floor. Suzanna was much braver than I. She shined a flashlight into the closet while I covered my eyes and squealed.
Maybe I am not cut out for this type of estate sale. While there were some things in the home that would have attracted some collectors/pickers (carnival glass for one!), Suzanna and I both left empty handed and feeling a little buggie.
However, my mind kept going back to this:
It isn't that I needed it....far from it! But it just kept creeping back into my mind. I wanted it! I had no idea what the guy was wanting for anything in the house b/c he planned to just burn what they didn't sell... I really wish I was brave enough to take a camera on these excursions we was unbelievable!Our shopping Saturday was really lackluster...partly b/c we spent a good hour and a half on our drive to the "estate sale", rummaging in the depths of the abandoned mire, and driving back to civilization. I think I spent a total of $8.00 Saturday and couldn't even tell you know what it was I bought. But I can tell you my mind was back in that shack of a house thinking about this pretty iron bed!Saturday afternoon, I could take it no more and called the owner back and asked what he would take for the bed. He wasn't sure what he wanted for it. I threw out a ridiculously low offer (insulting) of $20.00. Of course he said no, but said he could take $50.00.
I told him I would have to think about it. I know even at $50.00 it was a steal. But I AM CHEAP.
I hung up the phone and talked to my husband. He is used to me and my lunatic buying and selling of things. He said $50 was more than fair to call the guy back if I wanted it.
So I did.
Only I asked if he would take $40.00 because I just can't help it!(Who doesn't love a bargain?) He said he would and today I went and picked up the bed!
The bed is complete including the rails. I am so excited about the potential in this bed! I think I am going to clean it up and see where to go from there. I am tempted to keep it for my own home, but really have nowhere to put it! When I was at the place picking it up today, the guy informed me that they had a week to get everything out before the state took over the property. He still has a couple more headboard/footboards, a claw foot cast iron tub in good condition, a Baldwin piano, a neat little wooden chair, a corner cabinet, and in one bedroom a really nice antique dresser and matching headboard/footboard. I was very tempted to buy it, but it was in the room with the skittering animal and I don't want the creature to come home with me! I will probably kick myself later b/c he told me today he would sell everything for $300.00! The dresser and bed together were probably worth that at least! There are also over 20 boxes of DISHES. Someone had a serious dish problem! Make no mistake the place was a PIT. Gross, nasty and inhabited by some very fast little critter, but if you had the could find a few treasures (and maybe a new pet) in there!
Me? I am happy with the bed! I have also learned that one must be sure to have your shots up to date and to wear hip-waders to "estate" sales in this part of Alabama! :)


  1. Ah that's a great bed. I'd love to have one of those old beds if only they came in king size. Great find and great story!

  2. Ginger, why are you not going back out there for the rest of that stuff?

  3. Jess, for one Blake's tolerance only goes so far. Another reason, it is too dang hot to move a bunch of junk. I did make Jonathon help me drag the bed out...the headboard alone was 50 pounds!

  4. before you put too much effort into your gorgeous bed, measure the length of the side rails. I refinished a handsome oak bed, got it all set up in my bedroom and discovered that the rails were a full 3 inches short of today's standard mattress! (eventually found some steel ones I was able to bolt onto the headboard and footboard)

  5. Oh Kathie! Thanks for the tip! Measuring now! That would really suck.....

  6. Wow, I think I would have felt a little buggie, too - walking around in a house that hadn't been touched for so long! But the bed is just beautiful!!

    Stop by my blog, I gave you an award! :)

  7. Hi Ginger. About where in Alabama are you? I'm in the central part.

  8. Rebecca, we live close to Montgomery! Where are you located?

  9. OMG Ginger! If it wasn't for the fact that we live a couple of thousand miles from each other I would swear we were at the same "estate" sale.
    I took my 10y.o. daughter with me and I thought I might lose her in the jungle of madness in that yard. On top of that, it was in the high 90's and digging through piles of stuff in the scorching sun was NOT PRETTY. I, too, wore flip flops and was scared to death to find something crawling up my foot. I did dig up some good finds though, it turns out his mom was an antique dealer and a painter (pretty paintings, very pricey)Maybe I'll blog about it and show some pics=o]

    Meanwhile, the bed frame is beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing the story!

  10. Hi again Ginger. We live in Montgomery! - Rebecca

  11. I just found your blog last night and I love all the projects you've done! - Rebecca

  12. You're making me nervous about trying out estate sales because I have a feeling there are a few like that here in TN. Great find, though!

  13. Ha! Funny story. I love the bed and can't wait to see what you do with it.

    I’m having a new link party “Cheap Thrills Thursday” starting the 29th. It’s for creative ideas that cost under $20. If you have a project you’d like to share, I’d love for you to stop by and join in!